FW: memetics of the heroine

From: Ryan, Angela (ARyan@french.ucc.ie)
Date: Fri May 11 2001 - 18:16:07 BST

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "football and stuff (was RE: memetics of the heroine)"

    Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id SAA09999 (8.6.9/5.3[ref pg@gmsl.co.uk] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from fmb-majordomo@mmu.ac.uk); Fri, 11 May 2001 18:59:27 +0100
    Content-return: allowed
    Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 18:16:07 +0100
    From: "Ryan, Angela" <ARyan@french.ucc.ie>
    Subject: FW: memetics of the heroine
    To: "'memetics@mmu.ac.uk'" <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
    Message-id: <49AB9D0C6521D84ABD017BF83CDF44C408D76B@xch1.ucc.ie>
    X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)
    Content-type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Sender: fmb-majordomo@mmu.ac.uk
    Precedence: bulk
    Reply-To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk

    This message followed a strange path: I hope it has now reached the list.
    Could I request that no one ever tell me what either 'Chicago Bears' or 'the
    Fridge' mean, not even to what terminological field, or life-form, if
    applicable, they belong, not ever, please. Reality is just too strange
             -----Original Message-----
            From: Scott Chase [mailto:ecphoric@hotmail.com]
            Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 10:17 PM
            To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk <mailto:memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
            Subject: RE: memetics of the heroine

            Dear Scott, and Vincent,
            This is turning into 'so many heroines, so little time'! I am
    delighted to hear all these suggestions, and grateful for them. I don't know
    whether to be frightened or reassured at my own familiarity with popular
    media culture. I am still pondering Buffy and Ally, and here come Zena (whom
    I know) and Chyna (whom, or which, I don't). I see the line heretofore drawn
    between me and people hurting each other for entertainment may have to be
    crossed; deferral will be my fall-back should denial give way, so I shall
    rely on your information.
            I applaud your list of scientific heroines which should, of course,
    include Susan Blackmore. I would also include Jocelyn Bell.
                    Please educate me, as a newcomer, on how I should respond to
    replies; am I clogging the list? Should I respond to people individually, or
    is this convivial polylogue agreeable to all?
            Yours sincerely

    >From: Vincent Campbell <v.p.campbell@stir.ac.uk
    <mailto:v.p.campbell@stir.ac.uk> >
    >Reply-To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk <mailto:memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
    >To: "'memetics@mmu.ac.uk'" <memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    <mailto:memetics@mmu.ac.uk> >
    >Subject: RE: memetics of the heroine
    >Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 14:21:18 +0100
    > >>In one sense this depends on whether one views texts as
    memes (or
    > >>memeplexes) themselves or reflective of memes in culture-
    >would say the
    > >>former, some the latter, others both, and some neither!
    > >>inscription is reasonable IMHO.
    > <I don't know that I have a position on that: other than the
    > > that, whatever the relationship between text-as-meme and
    > > text-as-reflection-of-meme-in-culture, these processes, if they
    > > so in that order. This is another D Adams idea (incipit to
    > > Harmless,
    > > I think) but it goes back further. My theory is that the
    > > between time (consequent event) and text is that one mirrors
    > > with
    > > ludic play on chronology) the beginning-to-end structure of the
    > > Beginning-to-end, that is, as we seem to perceive event; it
    seems as if
    > > order lived time like a story to put some kind of sense on it:
    we have
    > > illusion that we understand our past better once it is gone, and
    > > we are doing in the present makes sense in terms of future
    > > (survival, fufilment, or other perceived objective);
    > > the one clear fact about the past is that it is not present, and
    > > future is theoretical.>
    > >
    > Well there's lots of stuff in different fields to go along
    with that
    >basic idea, from time's arrow stuff, to cog. psychology on memory
    >sharpening and levelling of events in memory, such that over time
    >historical events can end up us simplistic, but concretised
    >Narrative is central to our perception of events. I don't think it
    is an
    >illusion that we are capable of understanding our actions once
    they're in
    >the past, though. The extent to which we actually do learn from
    the past
    >may be less than we often believe.
    > >
    > <My point is that if we stigmatise our present in favour of
    a past
    >which we
    > > somehow perceive as being more easily grasped when it is gone,
    > > sacrifice
    > > it to a future which may or may not happen, this may be because
    we like
    > > stories, which also order themselves in a post hoc, propter hoc
    > > structure.>
    > >
    > Do we do that though- stigmatise the present, I mean?
    > <They attempt to explain the present in terms of the past
    >describe the
    > > present as causing the future. ( I think this was Adams' point,
    and the
    > > reason Dent was such a waverer: Proust's Recherche is rather
    similar in
    > > this
    > > respect). Or, of course, vice versa; our cultural inscription
    > > narrative because we like to assimilate order = direction and
    order =
    > > organisation, meaningful structure. Either way, I think the text
    > > relation (text as meme, text as meme reflected...) is
    > > structural-counterstructural.>
    > >
    > I don't think I quite buy this last bit. I don't know
    though. I'm
    >reminded of another book, again that may be tangential to your
    study, David
    >Seed's 'American Science Fiction and the Cold War' (1999), Here
    Seed talks
    >about how science fiction of the period articulated, perhaps most
    >all genres of the time, the anxieties of the US (e.g. fears of
    >nuclear destruction etc.) in a way that it was difficult, or even
    >for mainstream debates to even acknowledge, let alone discuss.
    Hence he
    >argues sci-fi to be one of the best sites for appraising an era's
    > Of course one of the problems in fiction is fixing notions
    >hero/heroine, i.e. are there points in the texts which confirm
    beyond doubt
    >the status of particular characters, or is there room for reader
    >in interpretation. I was at a conference the other day where
    someone was
    >giving a paper in which they talked about the multiple, and
    >interpretations of vampires in fiction (e.g. pro/anti feminist,
    >homosexuality etc. etc.). Somebody commented that this kind of
    >reflected the idea of the seimotic machine (I don't know who
    >term, but I like it), that sometimes fictional characters have such
    >multiplicity of interpretations that there's a kind of overload of
    > This could, to a lesser extent perhaps, extend to more
    >fictional representations, e.g. is Ally McBeal a heroine or a
    >Perhaps the more verisimilitude there is in the characterisation
    (bit of a
    >difference between Ally McBeal and Buffy the Vampire Slayer for
    >more problematic it is to simply desiginate characters as heroines
    >heroes similarly). [BTW can you spot my media studies location in
    >examples? I'm trying to think of literary figures, but all I can
    come up
    >with from my film & lit. undergrad days is Maya Angelou, who's real
    so that
    >sort of doesn't count... I did modern french lit. as an undergrad,
    >translation, but I only really remember Sartre and Camus, although
    we did
    >study some female authors, Duras I think, and someone else, who's
    name I
    >just can't recall despite my quite liking their work, Colette,
    >This stems from me being very bad at reading novels as a student- I
    >them all, but wasn't disciplined enough to read many of them, so
    many are
    >still sitting on shelves waiting to be discovered- or half read, I
    >about 150 pages of Proust before discovering we weren't studying
    him that
    >year, and promptly gave up].
    > Anyway, I'm blathering so I'll stop.
            I too suffer from chronic unread book syndrome. I saw a coffee mug
            which said something like "so many books, so little time". I'm
    planning on
            building a machine which stops time, so that I can catch up on my
            and then be smart. One of these days I want to compare Marlowe and
            wrt the Faust theme. It ain't getting done anytime soon. I've been
    on a
            recent Teilhard kick though. Wasn't he connected to Piltdown man? Or
    was it
            Charlton Heston's "Omega Man" ? ;-)

            As for memetics of the heroine, I notice a connection between the
            of Zena Warrior Princess and the wrestler Chyna on WWF. Maybe it's
            BTW, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, and Hilde Mangold are some
            scientific heroines. Maybe Susan Blackmore too, one of these days...

            The other wrestling organization WCW had a character Sting who
    appeared to
            have derive his recent persona via hybridization of Brandon Lee's
    "The Crow"
            and Jim Carrey's "The Mask" (Loki the Trickster himself?). Sting's
            incarnation was more like mid 80's football star Brian ("the Boz")
            if one of my friends is correct.

            I can out-babble almost anyone.

            Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com

            This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
            Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information
            For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
            see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri May 11 2001 - 19:03:07 BST